It’s Saturday morning and you’re slowly waking out of your comatose slumber. You get up and before you get dressed you step on the scale. It’s been a long week of heavy dieting and grueling workouts but you notice your weight hasn’t budged at all. After banging your head against the wall for a few minutes you come to the conclusion that your hormones have finally dropped to low and you have to do something about it. Since you’re now educated on nutrition, you know that this is where timed cheating comes into play.
Do you go on an all out eating frenzy where anything is game including pets and small children or do you plan one large meal that you time perfectly according to your routines?
This is the age old question and depending on who you ask, you’re going to get a wide variety of answers…
You have to ask yourself, “what about the science though?”
Truth is, as much fun as it would be to consume anything your heart desires and not have to feel guilty, the body doesn’t work that way. According to a 2000 study that was published in the, “International Journal of Obesity,” fat overfeeding does not elicit the same leptin response (bodyfat regulating hormone) as carbohydrate does. In fact, fat has virtually no effect on leptin concentrations, and in some cases even reduces leptin levels.
What this means is that your large pizza and Baconator may actually be working against you instead of helping you bring those hormones back to baseline. This is terrible news if you’re a weekend binger who eats for sport more than a strategic cheat.
In fact, simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, have a positive impact on leptin. High-glycemic carbs such as high sugar foods may be the sole reason for increases in leptin after meals according to another 1999 study published in, “Experimental Biology and Medicine.”
So what are you actually supposed to do?
According to the research, for optimal results, opt for a high carbohydrate meal or day by making up your total caloric intake 30%-40%. Subtract your normal protein and fat intake and leave the rest for simple carbs.
Since Leptin levels do not raise immediately following a meal, this should also be taken into account when planning a cheat meal or “refeed meal.” Instead of a overeating for a single day, you can add in 1-2 high carbohydrate meals per day for 2-3 days to optimally raise Leptin properly.
As you can see, cheat meals or refeed meals are a powerful tool to help you boost your metabolism when done properly. Use this approach sparingly and be sure to time things accordingly in order to help you achieve that physique you’ve been dreaming of.
- List of Simple Carbs
- -Table sugar
- -Corn syrup
- -Fruit juice
- -Bread made with white flour
- -Pasta made with white flour
- -Soda pop (Coke®, Pepsi®, Mountain Dew®, etc.)
- -All baked goods made with white flour (watch the fat content)
- -Most packaged cereals